Category Archives: Groningen

The best thing about Europe

OK, besides the butter–is the gardens. Today I took this picture in the Prinsentuin, a walled garden so beautiful I was sure it was private property. On a gray day like today, when not even the thought of apples (the weirdest and most persistent of the food cravings to date) could make me want to go to the market, I found a little bit of light and color in the garden.


Proper cycling attire and maintenance

Cycling to work here isn’t quite the ordeal that cycling to work appears to be at home. I’m certainly no expert on the matter, being afraid to cycle where there is any kind of foot, auto, or other cycling traffic, but when I offered the netbook to Nathan, he demurred to guest-post. Continue reading

A (very small) finish

Today I cleaned the shower. This is a big deal, because in what seems to me the dampest country in the world, mold grows way faster than I can keep up with. It’s mean mold too: bleach only angers it; it scoffs at the abrasive efforts of Vim. Continue reading

Holland’s got…talent?

Before I burn on this guy too bad, yes I admit, on vacation I saw some dubious “talents” on display on the fine summer TV hit “America’s Got Talent”.

But this is the A-plus-number-one-dest weird thing I’ve ever seen on the television. And I watch a LOT of television.

Probably you don’t need to watch all two minutes and twenty-six seconds to get the drift here; Harrie’s hond and eenden are talented, but repetitive. But do treat yourself to some sound. The epic music is perhaps the best part.

WTF Friday 8/20

Given my fascination with Dutch garbage, it was only a matter of time until I moved onwards and upwards. I mean, really, I’m a highly educated grownup here. It’s time to discuss adult things. (I even have health insurance now, I’m so grown up!) Continue reading

The hatches

have been battened down. Or, at least, the tomato plants have been helicopter mommied into the french door alcove in the garden so they don’t get hailed to bits.

Right after the tragic World Cup loss (I don’t want to talk about it, except to say that my dad always says if you’re not getting fouls you’re not playing defense, so get off your moral high horse), we had a series of freak summer storms, lasting Sunday night through Monday late afternoon. Continue reading

WTF Friday 7/9

Another 87F scorcher here in Holland today. And woe unto you if you haven’t worked on your Holland tan.

Yesterday I sat in this exact same spot in the park, and there was a group of older people painting this unusual tree. Today? There’s mostly-naked Dutch girls sunbathing. The (crappy) picture doesn’t even begin to convey the weirdness; the Noorderplantsoen’s pretty big so people are able to spread out everywhere to most effectively cancer-fy themselves.

Weirder still? They’ve been doing this since March, when it was like 52F.

Weirdest? None of them are tan yet. Dude, you can’t get tan in Holland.

I’m assuming, given the fact that I got (harmlessly) creeped on (and was left alone once I dropped the H-bomb–“husband”) in this same park the other day, that the sunbathing is simply another kind of markt. This one’s the undergrad meat markt, though, because these undergrads just lack a Presidential courtyard to do it in.

I’ll stay in the shade, thanks.